As readers look back at the stories I’ve told, it might appear that I’ve moved without rhyme or reason from the American West in the early 1800’s to Regency London to medieval Scotland. But I know better. The backstory or the future events in each adventure – or the research itself – led me to another time, another place.
Sometimes outside influences provided the jumping-off point. For example, after reading Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, I decided to write a “journey” tale with unusual and, hopefully, fascinating and memorable characters. This goal evolved into my first book, Cherish the Dream, which took my readers on a topographical expedition across the unmapped prairies of the early US. From this initial story came my interest in the Northern Cheyenne, leading to Warrior Dreams and Dream Catcher, both set in Montana. In addition, Montana Angel came from my research there.
Not all my stories are linked in some way. Sunshine and Shadow, a Georgian romance, and Promise Me, a Regency, arose from my love of the writings of Georgette Heyer.
Most evolved, however, with an intangible thread running through them. The Dreamseekers Series brought my twin heroines to England in Fly with the Eagle, and Scotland in Enchanted by You. My research of Scotland piqued my interest in the history of the Highland Clans, evolving into my latest trilogy. The stories of three Scottish ship captains in The MacLean Groom, Lachlan’s Bride, and Black Raven’s Lady resulted in my captivation with sailing ships.
So what’s next?
I’m presently researching a series about a Boston family of shipbuilders and sea captains set in the early 1800’s – around the early U.S. Navy, of Barbary Pirates, of merchant ships sailing to the Orient and returning with cargoes of extraordinary worth. On the high seas, our young nation couldn’t compete with the power and sway of the British navy and its mighty ships-of-the-line. But Yankee ingenuity and courage took us to the far-off edges of the world and back again.
This is the time of the birth-pangs of our fledging Republic, when no one knew for certain if our country and our Constitution would survive past the first few years.
Kathleen lives in Southern California with her American Bulldog, Auron. Her latest release, BLACK RAVEN’S LADY, Book 3 of the Highland Lairds Trilogy, is now on sale.